How To Care For Wicker Patio Furniture

How to Care for Wicker Patio Furniture

Wicker patio furniture is stylish and modern. They’re popular the world over for as outdoor furniture thanks to the near-endless furniture styles available to suit every patio style and size and they lend themselves so well to accenting with décor to match your space, style, or theme. While wicker furniture is durable, it does require maintenance to make sure they withstand the weather’s elements and last a lifetime. We’ve got the ways on how to care for wicker patio furniture so take a deep dive with us learn how to ensure your wicker furniture looks as beautiful as the day you bought it.

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The most popular type of wicker patio furniture sold at most furniture stores isn’t made of natural materials: it is worth reminding you at this point that wicker doesn’t refer to the material type, but rather to the way it is made. Wicker is the weaving of strands of fiber (natural or synthetic) around a frame. Natural wicker isn’t designed for outdoor use as the natural fibers will deteriorate quickly from the weather to eventually split and break. Synthetic wicker is actually the type of wicker that many people actually refer to when discussing wicker patio furniture. For this reason, synthetic wicker furniture is designed and ideal for outdoor use. This material comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and designs, and all are weather- and water-proof.

Even though synthetic wicker patio furniture is most commonly made from PVC or polyethylene and is constructed to be weather- and water-proof, it still requires periodic maintenance and cleaning to keep it in its best possible condition. To learn how to care for your wicker patio furniture so that it can last for many more summers, please read on.

Tools and Materials Needed:

1) Vacuum cleaner
2) Soft-bristle brush
3) Bucket
4) Sponge
5) 2 tablespoons of laundry detergent per bucket of warm water
6) Garden hose
7) 3 tablespoons of mildew-remover soap or grease-remover soap

How to Clean Wicker Patio Furniture:

Step 1:

The first step is to clean the cushion covers as these usually collect the most dirt while left outdoors during all weather conditions. Remove your cushion covers from your wicker patio furniture and depending on the material of the cushion covers, you can either give them a spin in your washing machine or you will need to give them a scrub by hand. Please refer to the cleaning instructions on your specific cushion cover’s product label (which can usually be found on the inside of the cushion cover nearest the zipper or buttons).

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Using a soft-bristle brush, loosen and remove as much dirt as possible by brushing off the surface layers of dust and debris. To reach deeper into the fibers of the cushion cover’s material, we’d recommend using a vacuum cleaner to give the cushions a once over too, but this wouldn’t be necessary if you’ll be throwing the cushion covers into your washing machine.

Step 2:

To wash your cushion covers by hand, mix 2 tablespoons of laundry detergent into half a bucket of warm water. Using the sponge, wipe the cushion covers thoroughly and wipe off any stains or marks.

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If there are stubborn stains and marks, use your soft-bristle brush to loosen them. Being outdoor furniture covers, expect them to be spotted from the sun and stained from grasses, leaves, flowers, and also from food and barbecues as your patio will most likely house a BBQ too for those perfect summer afternoons. Hang your cushion covers in the sun to dry out.

Step 3:

It is at this step that we turn our full attention to the actual wicker furniture. Remember that synthetic wicker furniture is water- and weather-proof, but it still collects dirt and mildew.

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Grab your garden hose (or fill your bucket with clean water) to thoroughly spray down your wicker patio furniture and don’t forget to also wash the underside of the furniture items.

Step 4:

Fill your bucket with warm water and a mildew-remover soap or a grease-remover soap (and if you don’t have access to those, dishwashing soap is just as effective). Mix 3 tablespoons of your chosen soap into the warm water and stir it until the solution foams. Using your soft-bristle brush, wash your wicker patio furniture from top to bottom.

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Make sure to scrub between the fibers and get into the cracks between the weaves to remove as much dirt and grime as possible. On the parts where the water pools during rainfall and where you can see water rings, scrub those harder but be careful not to scrub so hard as to break or tear the polyethylene fibers’ covering.

Step 5:

Once you’ve properly bathed the wicker patio furniture in soap, wash it off with the garden hose or by dousing it clean with buckets of water if you have no access to a garden hose. Let the furniture sit in the sun for a couple of hours to ensure it dries off completely – you don’t want any damp areas to grow mildew or mold again. There’s no need to cover it or to shield it in shaded areas: the wicker material is designed to be tough.

Step 6:

After your cushion covers and your wicker patio furniture have dried, you can replace the cushion covers on the furniture and reposition your furniture back to your favourite spots to take advantage of a well-deserved break in the sun to enjoy your wicker patio furniture.

Pro Tips for Maintaining Wicker Patio Furniture:

We all want our wicker patio furniture to look as good as new and for as long as possible. As the material fades in the sun as it ages, you can maintain its sheen and shine with periodic care. We have collected these pro tips for you to use to maintain your wicker patio furniture as best as possible:
Tip 1: To maintain your wicker patio furniture as best as possible, using outdoor covers for when your furniture’s not in use will help to keep them dry (and thereby preventing mildew setting into the cushion covers). You wouldn’t need to put the covers on every day, but we’d recommend putting them on when you expect a storm is approaching or when you leave town for a holiday.
Tip 2: After rains and cleaning, don’t let water pool on your wicker patio furniture for extended periods as it will saturate the wicker and stain the material.
Tip 3: If you have natural wicker furniture, you can still clean it in nearly the same way as we’ve described cleaning synthetic wicker furniture. Instead of hosing down the furniture with water, jump straight to Step 4 by using a sponge to wipe away the grit and grime on the wood. You will need to allow the wicker furniture extra time to dry, but don’t allow it to sit in the direct sun. Using a towel to dry it off is recommended and then allow it to air dry for at least 24 hours before replacing your cushion covers


With the proper care applied to your wicker patio furniture, you and your family will be able to enjoy it for many summers to come — come rain or shine. As we have established, natural wicker furniture isn’t ideal for permanent outdoor use, but synthetic wicker furniture is ideal for that. With regular cleaning to prevent mildew and stains, your wicker patio furniture will continue to look as good as new and last a lifetime.